Chapter 2: Chapter 2. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part II
Chapter 2. The Villainess Turns The Hourglass, Part II
It was the same mother who had been poisoned and died of a heart attack. She was a beautiful, elegant woman who captivated the hearts of many noblemen with her lips redder than roses and sensual body. Of course, she was very young and lively now as she scolded Aria to maintain her table manners. It was the same maternal instinct that resonated within her ever since she had a child.
Did Aria think that she was at a dining room? A mess of bloody meat was scattered all across her plate, whereas the salad bowl was empty, its contents all over the table.
‘I haven’t committed such an act since my sixteenth birthday, when I was greatly humiliated.’
Aria looked down at her hands. They were very small and smooth. There were no scars left from when she had thrown a glass bottle at Mielle either.
That had been the very first time that she had committed a violent act against Mielle, which had happened when she had been fifteen. At the time, the bottle full of water had been too heavy for such a fragile girl to throw with ease. In the end, the bottle headed not for Mielle, but to Aria’s feet.
As the glass bottle shattered, the sharp pieces wounded the top of her feet and her hands as well, causing Aria to leave the mansion crying. The main instigator of that incident had been Mielle. No, it had been Mielle’s maid that had caused her to hurt herself.
‘I had no inkling that all those people were Mielle’s informants.’
The maid that had helped her with the methods to harm Mielle had at last confessed that all of those incidents had been plotted by the evil woman, along with all of the sins she had committed. For confiding everything to the maid that had pleased her, the na?ve, foolish daughter of a prostitute met a miserable end.
‘It can’t be…’
Aria awakened to the unbelievable possibility that might have become reality and looked up and around. Just like how everyone was small and young, so was she.
It wasn’t a dream or a hallucination. The pain from the injury that was left from the dropped glass cup had confirmed this. She lowered her hand and touched her leg and found that it was a bit wet. Checking it with her own eyes, she found red blood. The maid, who was cleaning the floor, noticed it, causing her face to darken as she hurriedly bowed.
It was her mother, who was sitting next to her, so Aria swallowed her breath and put on a shocked expression. Aria’s hands trembled. Her lips were parched, and her face devoid of life.
A room of frustrated glares was aimed at her, who stared down at her hands blankly. Soon, that vulgar little girl would raise her voice and scream. That was the future that no one doubted would happen. There was no touch of sympathy for Aria, in whom everyone had already lost faith.
Aria closed her eyes quietly. She pondered for a moment the options that were presented to her. She raised her eyes and straightened her face, having decided on what she would do.
“Jessie, give me your handkerchief. I think I may have hurt my leg, so I’ll ask that you treat me. I apologize, but I think I will have to finish my meal later.”
It was a calm response that betrayed everyone’s expectations of Aria’s normal choice of screaming. She took the handkerchief from her maid and wiped her hand, leaving a note of apology for causing a disturbance at mealtime. That totally unexpected reaction from Aria caused everyone sitting around the table to become speechless and frozen.
Aria, who was being assisted by Jessie in her room, could feel herself young. As she had grown older, she had changed all of the furniture and decorations in her room into high-quality, luxury items, hanging the jewelry she had bought all around as if to boast.
Although her room now did feel luxurious, it didn’t have any major luxury items since it had been decorated by an immature teenage noble. She looked down at her leg and saw Jessie bandaging the wound.
Though Jessie had been on Mielle’s side, she had still lightly discouraged her from the series of misdeeds that she had committed. Aria remembered how she had cut Jessie’s hair and tongue, and burned her right hand at the stable since she had not like being opposed. That same Jessie had appeared here totally fine as she was dressing her leg.
‘…It was just Jessie. She was the only maid who tried to prevent me from attempting my evil deeds… I shouldn’t have kicked her out.’
When she had first entered the county, all of the nobles and maids had compared her to Mielle, instilling jealousy into her.
‘I’m sure that Aria can do a lot better! It’s certain that Miss Mielle will use some underhanded methods, right?’
The stupid and na?ve Aria had unknowingly attached herself to the maids who had spoken sweet words to her and had been assigned to her by Mielle, and had been unable to overcome that jealousy and eventually died a miserable death.
However, now was different. A person who knew there was a trap did not fall into it. Rather, the person would repay the cost of constructing that trap.
And the one who had set the trap was the devil among wicked women, the one who wore the mask of the saint.
It was precisely her step-sister, Mielle Roscent.
‘I will never forgive you.’
She had promised herself that she would never forgive that bitch even if her body was thrown into the flames.
Perhaps it was due to her returning to the past, but fatigue overwhelmed her. She wanted to lie down to rest immediately. Although she had lightly considered that all of those blessings might dissipate and be replaced by a nightmare, she couldn’t overcome the fatigue that befell her. She prayed not to wake up if that ended up being the last time she would be able to sleep. That was her last wish and hope, which came from someone who had lived her life filled with jealousy.
“Jessie, I want to lie down on the bed.”
Jessie changed her into her pajamas and helped her onto the bed to rest. Up till then, she had lightly reminisced on her actions at the table, but at that moment, it was as if she had lost all of her strength to something else.
‘… What is this?!’
With Jessie’s help, she had folded the blanket back and begann to get into the bed, but after feeling some rough, strange sensation, she hurriedly shook her leg and rose from her place. She had a dumbfounded expression on her face, unable to comprehend why that soft, silky blanket could arouse that strange feeling.
“Jessie! Hurry and quickly check under my blanket!”
Doubting that Mielle might have plotted something against her, Jessie followed Aria’s orders. Surprise washed over her face after she quickly threw the blanket out. Grains of sand scattered about the floor, and shards of glass among them. The largest piece, shaped like an X, clearly from an hourglass.
After confirming this, Jessie hurriedly bowed low to the ground and admitted to the crime.
“Before you started your meal, I… I cleaned the bed, but I wasn’t aware there were glass scattered around here! Miss, I’m truly sorry!”
Her body was shivering furiously as she lay face down on the floor. It was as if she was expecting an outburst of anger to come her way, all the more because she continued to admit to the crime at the top of her voice.
Aria’s trembling eyes turned to Jessie for a moment before returning to the hourglass. She picked up the broken hourglass gently with her hands. It was something that she had never seen before, but it felt very familiar, frightening, and yet precious.
‘Maybe!’ She had a hunch that it might not have been a coincidence. ‘Yes! All of this is surely a sign from God. God’s will to save a poor girl who repented her foolish past after being deceived like a fool!’
All of this was to free her from the clutches of evil that had driven her to the abyss! And it must have been with the help of God that she was able to keep all of her memories intact, so that revenge would be possible.